Buying guide

Fritz Eisenhofer-renovated Seatoun villa on big seafront site

A Captivating Blend of History and Contemporary Design

When a stylish home comes up for sale on Seatoun’s Marine Parade, there’s always a lot of interest and 81 Marine Parade has certainly attracted numerous online and in-person views in its first couple of days on the market, according to real estate agency, Lowe & Co. 

What makes this pretty 1905 villa particularly interesting to the design-savvy is the influence of renowned Wellington architect, the late Fritz Eisenhofer, who carried out an architectural redesign at  the property in the 1980s. 

The vendor told listing agents, Jackie Farrell and Craig Lowe, that in this redesign the rear of the villa was given an open plan kitchen, dining, family and laundry room, well ahead of the trend for this kind of architecture. Meanwhile the front of the home was redesigned to elevate the two front rooms giving the owners uninterrupted views of the harbour. Two large decks at the front of the home also make the most of those views with Cook Strait ferries regularly going past. The master bedroom, with ensuite and walk-in wardrobe, were also included in the Eisenhofer rethink.

Since the Austrian-born architect worked his magic, the home’s kitchen was refreshed in 2006, with a kitchen island added and the existing rimu cabinetry reused. Then just two years ago, the generous back lawn – the site is a total of 712 sq m –  was thoroughly landscaped with smart retaining walls, and steps up to a secondary elevated lawn for those who want to watch the action from above.

“It’s a backyard ideal for a family to play cricket, “ says Jackie. And the home gets all day sun. 

At 181 sq m, 81 Marine Parade isn’t an over-large house, but space has been cleverly maximised. Each of the four double bedrooms have built-in wardrobes and two bedrooms have Murphy beds which can be folded away to create extra space for other activities during the day or used as workstations. The property could work for a family, for grandparents who like to host family occasions, or just a couple who like entertaining (and those views).

The partially double glazed villa, with a double garage, is just across the road from Seatoun’s wharf and a stroll from Seatoun village. The home’s owner says it’s in a very sheltered spot from both the northerly and southerly winds, thanks to protection from the neighbouring property, the hill behind and the location.

The interest in its first week on the market has come from local Wellingtonians and there’s been some out-of-town inquiry too, says Jackie. People who live in Seatoun tend to stay in the eastern suburb, which is around 15 minutes drive (off peak) or a bus ride into Wellington CBD, she says. 

Lowe & Co has put the buyer enquiry at over $2.295 million and the tender date is 12 October.